A number of people who've seen There Will Be Blood have commented on the fact that women don't seem to figure into lead character Daniel Plainview's life at all. As one commenter on David Poland's blog recently put it, "There's never a single woman in sight of him. Not when he becomes successful. Not even when he's older. Not even whores. There's no explicit point of this made, so much as it's just de facto." This is part of the commenter's argument that Plainview is a repressed homosexual. Another commenter pegs Plainview as simply a-sexual, noting that "his only love and appetite was for more money as a means to an end." But is that really what's going on? I recently sat down and read the script for There Will Be Blood and noticed something that I don't remember being included at all in the film. Since it's only one line I could have just missed it, but I don't think I did, and if I'm right it might go a long way towards explaining things.
On page 80 of the script, Daniel and Henry (a drifter who may be his brother) are sitting in a mess hall drinking and talking and Daniel tells Henry that H.W., who he's been passing off as his son, is "not even my son." "What do you mean?" Henry asks. At this point, the script says that 'Daniel begins to break down, holds his crotch' and then says to Henry "He's not my son. My c**k doesn't even work. How am I gonna make a kid? Does yours work Henry?" So that kind of sheds a new light on things, doesn't it? His half-hearted attempts at finding male companions -- his adopted son and Henry, in addition to his manservant -- are his only option, really.